I don’t think it’s ever going to rain here again. I can’t tell you how often this summer I’ve watched healthy storm systems blow out of the Plains, gain a little strength on the hop over Lake Michigan, and immediately start dissipating. Like hurricanes. By the time they reach us, they’ve become a few widely scattered showers. Followed by another high pressure system that will stay for a few days.
I mean, I’m grateful the heat has finally eased up (even though it’s going to be 94 today), but man — this weather is sort of boring. And there’s no water left anywhere.
Upside: No mosquitos. Although we’re still having a West Nile outbreak. And thanks to the hurricane, gas is now $4.20 a gallon. But hey! J.C. Burns is coming for dinner on Monday, so what’s not to love?
OK, then. Much of the news from the convention has been flying over my head; I just don’t have patience for a) these events; and b) the way they’re covered, with every gotcha moment blown up like a party balloon and batted around until the next one comes along. And so, while I heard and disapproved of the peanuts-thrown-at-the-black-CNN-camerawoman story yesterday, I tried to let it roll off.
Then, today, a read a very detailed account of the incident. And this is disturbing:
“I was just about to put on my headset when someone started throwing peanuts at me,” she told me. “I didn’t understand what was going on.” She recovered enough to ask one man, “Are you out of your damned mind?” A pair of older white men walked to the railing preventing people from falling down into the camera pit. One hurled more peanuts at her and taunted, “Here! Want some more peanuts?”
Then they actually started hitting her with them. “This is what we feed to the animals at the zoo!” he continued. While his partner laughed, the thrower leaned over the railing as if he WAS at the zoo and snorted, “Here’s some more peanuts.”
My friend continued, “It was like they were heckling me.” It became clear to her these people were enjoying her torment. Two African-American cameramen and a female Caucasian reporter came over to investigate the fracas, but none had clearly heard what the men said. CNN security arrived by coincidence and set off after them.
(If that narrative is confusing, click the link and read the whole thing. It’s told in the first person by a friend of the camera operator.) That isn’t a tossed-off moment. That’s a deliberate, sustained bout of extreme obnoxiousness. What’s worse is the official reaction:
Then a pair of people who identified themselves as RNC officials came to apologize — or offer what to them passed as such. “These must have been alternates,” one said. “Our delegates would never do anything like that.”
However, believe it or not, that wasn’t the most offensive thing I read today. It was this, which may be a little confusing as well, as that link is to part of an interview posted yesterday by the National Catholic Register, with Fr. Benedict Groeschel, a Franciscan friar who appears to be making a rather vile explanation for child sexual abuse in the One True:
Part of your work here at Trinity has been working with priests involved in abuse, no?
A little bit, yes; but you know, in those cases, they have to leave. And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified. People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.
And it gets worse from there. At one point, he refers to Jerry Sandusky as that “poor guy.”
The NCR has taken the interview down and apologized copiously, as has the friar. He’s playing the I’m-an-old-man card: My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be.
That might be, but I still say it explains a lot.
OK, it’s Mitt’s acceptance speech, so I guess I have to watch it. You guys pick it up in the comments, eh.
And happy Labor Day weekend. You deserve a day off.